Mini-mu derivatives carrying plasmid replicons can be used to clone genesin vivo. This method was adopted to generate phasmid clones which were later screened for their ability of restore nitrofurantoin sensitivity of a nitrofuran-resistant host by eliciting nitroreductase activity. One phasmid-derived clone (pAJ101) resulted in considerable increase in nitroreductase activity when introduced into a nitrofurantoin-resistant mutant ofEscherichia coli with reduced nitroreductase activity. Subsequently, a 1.8 kb fragment obtained from pAJ101 by partial digestion with 5au3A, was subcloned into pUC18 to yield pAJ102. The nitroreductase activity attributable to pAJ102 was capable of reducing both nitrofurantoin and nitrofurazone. The polypeptides encoded by pAJ102 were identified by the minicell method. A large, well-defined band corresponding to 37 kDa and a smaller, less-defined band corresponding to 35 kDa were detected. Tnl000 mutagenesis was used to delineate the coding segment of the 1.8 kb insert of pAJ102. A 0.8 kb stretch of DNA was shown to be part of the nitroreductase gene. The gene was mapped at 19 min on theEscherichia coli linkage map.